Previously we wrote about how to bring down the relative humidity of a room, but what if your house is at the other end of the spectrum? what if your house is too dry?
Over half of your skin is comprised of water, so when the air is too dry, your skin will also start to become dry, which can result in itchiness and flaking. Your nose can become aggravated and your respiratory system will not work as effectively in preventing harmful things such as dirt and dust from entering your lungs. Static electricity starts to build up which can lead to electric shocks when you touch something metal. Floorboards will start to creak more and windows will start to see gaps in their frames.
A way to test if your house is too dry is to fill a glass with water and put some ice in it. Leave it on the table for about 5 minutes. After five minutes check the glass to see if there is any moisture on the outside of it. If you can’t feel moisture on the outside of the glass then it’s a sure indication that your house is too dry and needs humidifying.
So how can we re-humidify the room ?
Bridge the gaps
Seal up all the gaps, cracks and leaks throughout your home, where moisture can escape. These will usually be found around wooden window frames and doors. Weatherstripping can last for a long time, but can take a while to install – although there are some plastic and self-adhesive foam variants that are a lot easier to install. You can also find clear plastic window film which can seal around window frames by using a hair dryer to stretch the film. Other places around the house where you’ll find cracks and small holes would be around fireplaces, telephone cable entry points, and around skirting boards.
Bring some plants into the home
As well as reducing the carbon dioxide in the air and replenishing the oxygen, houseplants will humidify the air around you. Plants do this through transpiration, which is a process where plants will take in water through their roots and then release that moisture into the air, from the underside of their leaves.
Some plants have higher transpiration rates and so are excellent humidifiers – the peace lily, areca palm, rubber plant and spider plant are just a few to mention. Plants such as bamboo palm, which will remove harmful toxins from the room, leaving fresh oxygen and moisture can be positioned together to create their own little humid microclimates.
Make sure you keep the plants well watered or they’ll be gasping for moisture as well as you.
Hang up your wet clothes
In stead of shoving everything into the tumble dryer, hang wet clothes around the house. Get a rack to hang them on – hanging clothes out to dry in the house is a really effective way of getting moisture into the air quickly. As the clothes dry naturally, the moisture is absorbed into the air bringing up the relative humidity. Be careful not to overdo it though, clothes straight out of the washing machine contain a great deal of moisture and you could quickly find a small room full of wet clothes becoming too humid. Instead of saturating one room, try and distribute wet clothes throughout the house.
Not using the tumble dryer for a while will also save you a ton of money when it comes to electric bills as dryers consume a lot of energy.
Leave the doors open when washing
If you’re taking a bath or a shower, then leave the door open to allow the moisture in the room to travel throughout the other rooms of your house. Leave water in the bath for a while as well as leaving the bathroom door open. Again you need to be careful that you don’t overdo this as too much moisture can lead to mold and mildew infestation and a whole host of other problems that we covered here.
Let your hair dry naturally
The hair dryer may well get your hair dry quicker, but it also dehydrates the air around you. Let your hair dry naturally and the moisture in your hair will slowly be transferred into the air – every little helps.
Get the stove in action
Instead of microwaving your dinner or throwing everything into the oven, cook more food on the stove, boiling water will release moisture into the air. Leave the doors open in the kitchen to allow this moisture to circulate throughout the house.
Leave out some bowls of water
It’s a very simple idea – fill some bowls of water and leave them near to a source of heat such as a radiator, or near the fireplace. The heat will evaporate the water and so the water will distribute itself throughout the air.